Monday, June 30, 2014

Letter from Banesa

Dated 3/1614

Dear Beverly Sykes,

How are you doing?  I hope you're doing well.  I want to wish you many birthdays and may God bless you very much always.

I want to tell you I'm doing very well.  How about you?

I hope to be very well in my studies, thanks God.  I'll be in my final exams on May 24th and I think I will do excellent because I wish to pass my grade.

I had a wonderful time on Easter.  How about you?  I was on vacations in Santo Domingo at my grandmother's house, thanks God, and I had a lot of fun.

May God protect you every day.

Love and kisses,

Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Kiva Loan

Lewnida lives in Magunga, a small town in Homa Bay County. Homa Bay County is located in southwestern Kenya and borders on Lake Victoria, the second-largest lake in the world. Populations are dense close to the lake, where many individuals make their living from fishing, and a few work in the small but slowly growing tourism industry. A popular tourist attraction in Homa Bay County is Ruma National Park, a game reserve that is home to the rare roan antelope, a shy species distantly related to the reticulated giraffe. Most people in Homa Bay make their living from farming, and the rolling hills of the area are dotted with fields and fruit tree plantations.

Lewnida is a widow with nine children. She is a farmer. She has been farming for twenty years now, and she is currently growing maize, beans, green grams, sorghum and groundnuts. Lewnida is excited about beekeeping, as it will earn her some income from the sale of honey, because it is an easy project to undertake, and it has a ready market.

This is Lewnida’s first loan with Honey Care. She plans to use the proceeds from her beehives to pay school fees for her children. Lewnida’s hope for the future is to invest in business and have an economic change in her life.

I chose her because ... my god... Nine children!!!  She needs help.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Letter from Anjali

Another wonderfully long letter from Anjali.  I have been writing to her the longest.  She is now 11 years old, her English has improved wonderfully, as has her handwriting.  I was also sent a "translation" (neat-ing up the handwriting), but it left out an important sentence, so I am copying this from the letter she wrote herself, grammatical errors and all!  She is answering a letter I wrote in January, talking about our trip to Seattle to see my friend singer/songwriter Steve Schalchlin in concert with The Righteous Mothers, and staying with our friends Gabi and Alec Clayton. Alec is a painter and author, with 7 books under his belt. Gabi works tirelessly to keep gay kids safe, following their son's suicide after a gay bashing incident. I didn't mention the "gay" aspect of it, or that Bill had killed himself, but did talk about bullying and Gabi's work trying to prevent it.

Dear Beverly Sykes,

Greetings to you in the name of our lord, Jesus Christ.  I received your letter.  How are you?  How is your health?  How is your family members?  I am fine.  My family members also fine.  My health is good.  Wish you a happy birthday.  I am very happy that you are enter into 71 years.  I saw your photo that is very nice and looking very beautiful.

My project members all are fine.  My C.D.F. told curriculum stories every day.  I am going to project every day and monthly one's time my project conduct Bible quiz.  I am going to Sunday School every Sunday.  I learn more songs and Bible stories in Sunday School.

Now we are in summer season.  It is very hot in this season.  We got some fruits like mangoes, watermelon, grapes, pomegranates, etc.  Please pray for my country.  How is your country weather?  Now I am preparing my final exams.  Please pray for my exams.

I am celebrated my birthday in this year very hapily with my friends and family members.  But I miss you in that day.  I will distribute chocolates to my friends, family members and teachers. In the morning I went to a church with my new dress.

Please come to India.  I want to meet you one's time.  I am waiting for you.  I am remembering you and your family members.  Also remembering you.  Please pray for my project.

How is your friends Gabi and Alec?  We can imaginate how you did your spend three days with your  might have enjoyed with them lot.  How is your author friend Steve Schalchlin.  Did you see him?  If you meeet him so please convey my greeetings to him and also try to send some songs which he sang.  How is Alec works.  If it is possible please send me some books which he has published.  Sure that bullied doesn't happen to othere children.  It's a good concept which she has taken.  It will be improve good activities in children.  So how is your friend Steve?  Have you met him?  If you meet, please convey my greetings to him.  How is his righteous mothers group for womens who have been singing for 30 years.  I encourage them to grow in sing folk musics and also we encourage them to sing wonderful way.  We also want them to see on if God's will so thankful for this letter which you have send.

Please pray for my studies and also please pray for Compassion project.

Thank you for your love and support.

Your loving child,

Friday, June 27, 2014

First Letter from Israel

Israel is a new correspondence child.  He's 17 and is from Bolivia.

Dear Sponsor,

Hello.  I greet you with the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for being my sponsor.  My name is Israel  and I was born in Cochabamba on January 16 of 1997.  My father is Rafael and my mother Maria died seven years ago. I have six siblings and my oldest brother is Javier and he is 22 years old and he will study sound engineer.

Thanks to god my family is healthy and we are a good team when we had to do something like singing praises of Jesus.

This is my last year at school because I am thinking about going to university the next year and I want to study Civil Engineering.  I am interested in this major because I like calculation.  I am going to a church named Casa de Dios and my pastors are Felix and Magdalena Rodriguez.  Also, I am part of the praise ministry because God gave me the privilege of playing electric guitar and bass.  I like praising the Lord because he gave me eternal life.  He changed me and he keeps changing my life.  I am thankful to God because he is faithful and good to all the people.  I close with a hug.  My prayer request is for my family and my life and my studies.

Your friend,

Friday, June 20, 2014

The World Cup

With the World Cup upon us, I went to and made these pictures for the boys I sponsor.  This went to Henrique, who lives in Brasil, and who loves soccer.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Photo

I have been sponsoring Briana since 2010.  She is growing up!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Letter from Banesa

Here's a form labeled "How I have fun"

During my free time, I like to play with my pet Susi in my spare time.
When I'm indoors I like to do my homework and my household chores.
When I am outside I like to help my friends.
One sport I like to play is to dance hula hoop

Dear Beverly Sykes,

Hello!  How are you?  I hope you are well.  You asked me if I had pets inside of my house.  Yes, I do.  It's a very fun cat.  We call him Susi.  I  really liked the photo you sent me when you were my age.  I'm doing very well at school, thanks God.  The subject I don't like is math.  How did you do at Christmas?  What are you planning to do on this new year?  I hope you and your family do well. 

The word of God says, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and he delivers them."  Psalms 34:1

May God always take care of you.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Letter from Emmanuella


Dear Beverly Sykes,

Thank you for all your letters.  It makes me feel very happy and I enjoy reading it.

No, I don't know what bullying is about.  Yes, I do sneeze.

I am learning how to bake bread.

How is your work doing?

I pray that God will make your way prosperous.

Pray that God will bless me and my familyh.

Memory Verse:  Jeremiah 14:16.  Behold I am the Lord the God of all flesh.  Is there anything too hard for me?

Friday, June 13, 2014

New Kiva Loan

Shahanik is a hardworking woman from Garnarij village of Shirak region of Armenia. She lives there with her husband and 20-year-old daughter.

Shahanik is involved in animal husbandry. She keeps five cows, 22 calves, 19 sheep, piglets and 15 chickens. Shahanik sells the gathered milk and meat in local markets and that's the only source of family's income.

The loan of USD 3,000 will be a very big support for Shahanik to purchase 10 calves and fuel for land cultivation needed for her farm. As this is Shahanik's first loan, it has been approved within the framework of the new joint initiative between Kiva and SEF. The first-chance loan program provides loans to people who didn’t have access to credit products in the past because they have no credit history.

Letter from Samuel


In filling in a form about his community, Samuel shares that

I live in a village in Kitui county.  My community is located in Eastern part of Kenya and is in rural setting.  The main language spoken in this area is Kamba (his mother tongue).  The common job in my community is farming.  The common type of transportation in  my community is roads.  In my community the weather is mainly hot, sunny, and dry.  The physical features in my community are mountains.  The main religion in my community is Christianity.  One fun thing to do in my community is visiting friends.

Message to my sponsor
Praise God.  I hope you are fine and in good health.  We are doing good (me and my family).  I appreciate the letter you sent to me and moreso the game you taught me via the letter.  May you be blessed.  I always play soccer with my friends, both at school and at the project.  Thank you and have a blessed Easter.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Letter from Josphat

I had a letter from Josphat dated January with the form "How I Have Fun."  Now I have a letter dated February with the same form on it.  Things have changed a bit since the first one.

Dear Beverly Sykes:

During free time I like to play football.  My favorite activity is trimming and clearing the grass around our home.  When I am outside, I like to play football.  When I am inside, I like to clean our house.  One sport I like to play is football.  I usually play with friends.  When I am bored, I like to sleep on my bed.  One fun thing I llike to do is having a walk.

My drawing:

Message to my sponsor:

Josphat says hallo to you.  He says that he is quite fine in the Lord, who has brought him this far.  He says that here in Kenya, the weather has turned to be very hot (sunny).  Bye! Bye!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Two Letters from Kenya

This first of these letters is from Josphat

Receive greetings from Josphat.  He hopes that you are doing well too.  He says that he is happy you sent a letter to him.  He is grateful for the game.  It took time to understand it but it is enjoyable.  He promises that he will send you a game.  He asks you to pray for him to be in good health and to excell in education. 

He finally says bye.

The second letter is from Erick Wainaina

Dear Beverly Sykes,

Hey!  Beverly.  How are you and your family.  I hope you are doing well.  I pray to God every day for you and your family to have a better future together, wherever you area.

Here at home we are receiving much rain and I'm so happy to receive your letters.  You know, the funny thing that makes me happy and smile a lot is when I read your letters and look at your photos.  You know that the photos you sent me are very colourful and beautiful.

You asked me that if I sneeze.  Of course, I do sneeze when there is something smelly around.

I want to tell you today that you are always in my heart and you will remain there forever.  May your happiness remain forever and ever in your heart.  May God be with you.

I am sending my love and happiness for you and your family.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Meet Venkanna

When the situation with Lovson came up, I asked Compassion if they were going to assign me a new correspondence child.  The same day, Venkana showed up on my list of correspondence children.

When my friend took over sponsorship for Lovson, he was returned to my list of correspondence children, and Venkana is still there, so I guess he is new to the family.

He's 11 years old and in the 5th grade (looks very tall)  He lives with his parents (who are part-time farmers) and has a brother and a sister. There are also grandparents mentioned in the profile.

His family duties include washing clothes, running errands, carrying water, and gathering firewood.

His hobbies and sorts include group games, running and storytelling.

I look forward to getting to know him.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Letter from Henrique

This form tells me about his medical checkup.

My last medical checkup was in March 2014
In order to do my medical examination, the doctor came to the Project.
While I was doing the exam, I had with me my mother.
During the examination I was weighed and my height was measured
The doctor gave me the following recommendations: to have good nutrition and always brush my teeth.
Because of the medical examination, I learned to take care of our health

My Dear Sponsor:

Hello.  How are you?  I'm well.  I get happy to receive your letter.  I hope that you send news soon.

My drawing for you:

Monday, June 2, 2014

Real Angels

The most amazing thing happened this evening.  A reader of Funny the World contacted me and offered to take on Lovson's sponsorship.  Said she had been a sponsor years ago and stopped because she didn't like writing letters, so if I will continue the correspondence,she is happy to pick up the sponsorship. 
I was brought to tears.  There are wonderful people in the world, and this is one of them.  I have contacted Compassion to see how we can make this happen.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Goodbye, Lovson

It was with great sadness that I received a note from Compassion letting me know that one of my correspondence kids, Lovson in Haiti, had lost his financial sponsors.  I have only been writing to him for about a year, but he is the only one of my 15 children who is doing above average in school, and he is showing promise of being one of my better letter writers.

I was offered the chance to pick up his financial sponsorship, but much as I would like to, I just can't add another child.

Then a situation developed with World Vision, through which I have just started sponsoring one child. It seems that World Vision recently made the decision to stop discriminating against people in same sex marriages.  A good decision.  A Christian decision.  Kudos to them!

But within 48 hours, members of a radical right wing Christian group dropped sponsorship of over 2,000 children unless World Vision reverse its good, Christian decision.

They did. On March 26, World Vision President Richard Stearns reversed the decision, stating, “our board acknowledged that the policy change we made was a mistake.” Supporters helped the aid group “see that with more clarity,” Stearns added, “and we’re asking you to forgive us for that mistake.”

A bad decision.  An UnChristian decision.  I take back my Kudos.

My immediate reaction was to drop my sponsorship at World Vision, which would allow me to pick up the financial sponsorship of Lovson.  Then I realized what a horrible thought that was.  The people who callously dropped more than 2,000 children just because World Vision had decided to do the right thing were saying that the importance of their religious ideology trumped the welfare of children in jeopardy all over the world.

And if I were to drop my World Vision child in protest, I would be using her in the same way. So I have sadly told Compassion I cannot sponsor Lovson and asked if I could write him a letter of goodbye.

I have also asked what Compassion's policy is on same sex marriages.  I suspect that I will be disappointed in their answer (if they answer), but again, I can't use my sponsored children callously and I will keep them, no matter what, and I hope I am not disappointed.